Advertisement

Israel in Lebanon (1982–1985)

  • Shawn T. Cochran

Abstract

The Lebanon War of 1982–85, generally recognized as the sixth Arab-Israeli conflict, was the longest and most divisive war in Israel’s history, producing “a level of polarization in Israeli society not seen since the birth of the state.”1 Israel did not anticipate a lengthy war at the outset nor did this appear likely in the early stages of the conflict. After only a week of fighting, Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon announced to the Knesset Defense Committee, “The job is done in Lebanon,” a claim with some parallels to President George W. Bush’s “mission accomplished” statement made in relation to Iraq two decades later. Contemporary observers were quick to claim Israeli victory and tout the operation as a military success. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) General Avraham Tamir would later recall, “Nobody in Israel could imagine at that moment that the IDF would withdraw only three years later after what was meant to be a swift operation.”2 Over the next few months, however, Israel became embroiled in a protracted struggle with guerilla forces and terrorists as it tried to translate early military gains into desired political objectives. Pundits labeled the war a “quagmire” and “morass.” One popular Israeli commentator likened the IDF in Lebanon to Napoleon’s army in Russia. Whatever the reference, apparent by the fall of 1982 was that “Israel was in for a long and dark nightmare from which there was no simple escape.”3

Keywords

Political Leadership Political Objective Military Leadership Israel Defense Force Defense Minister 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Neill Lochery, The Israeli labour Party: In the Shadow of the Likud (Reading, Berkshire: Ithaca Press, 1997), 102.Google Scholar
  2. Yael Yishai, “Hawkish Proletariat: The Case of Israel,” Journal of Political and Military Sociology 13 (1985): 56.Google Scholar
  3. David Shipler, “A Divided Israel,” New York Times, July 7, 1984.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    Avraham Tamir and Joan Comay, A Soldier in Search of Peace: An inside look at Israel’s Strategy, 1st American ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), 127.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    See Avner Yaniv, Dilemmas of Security: Politics, Strategy, and the Israeli Experience in Lebanon (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 193, 218, 51.Google Scholar
  6. Zeev Schiff, Ehud Yaari, and Ina Friedman, Israel’s lebanon War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984), 230.Google Scholar
  7. David Shipler, “A Quagmire for Israelis,” New York Times, September 17, 1982Google Scholar
  8. Dan Bavly and Eliahu Salpeter, Fire in Beirut: Israel’s War in lebanon with the P.I.O. (Briarcliff Manor, NY: Stein and Day, 1984), 172.Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    Avner Yaniv and Robert J. Lieber, “Personal Whim or Strategic Imperative? The Israeli Invasion of Lebanon,” International Security 8, no. 2 (1983): 131.Google Scholar
  10. Amos Perlmutter, “Begin’s Rhetoric and Sharon’s Tactics,” Foreign Affairs 60, no. 1 (1982)Google Scholar
  11. Robert W. Tucker, “Lebanon: The Case for the War,” Commentary 74, no. 4 (1982).Google Scholar
  12. 7.
    Ariel Sharon and David Chanoff, Warrior: The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989), 469.Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    Itamar Rabinovich, The War for Lebanon, 1970–1985, rev. ed., Cornell Paperbacks (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985), 139.Google Scholar
  14. See also David Shipler, “For Israelis, the Taste of Victory Starts to Turn Sour,” New York Times, July 25, 1982.Google Scholar
  15. 11.
    Thomas L. Friedman, “P.L.O.’S Decision to Leave,” New York Times, August 11, 1982Google Scholar
  16. 15.
    Elie Adib Salem, Violence and Diplomacy in Lebanon: The Troubled Years, 1982–1988 (London; New York: I. B. Tauris, Distributed by St. Martin’s Press, 1995), 33Google Scholar
  17. 20.
    Also, see David Shipler, “A Retreat by Israel,” New York Times, September 5, 1983.Google Scholar
  18. 24.
    Shai Feldman and Heda Rechnitz-Kijner, Deception, Consensus and War: Lsrael in Lebanon, vol. no. 27 (Tel Aviv: Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 1984), 50.Google Scholar
  19. 25.
    Quoted in Richard A. Gabriel, Operation Peace for Galilee: The Israeli-PLO War in Lebanon (New York: Hill and Wang, 1984), 184.Google Scholar
  20. 27.
    Gil Merom, How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Lsrael in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam (Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 30.
    See Dominic D. P. Johnson and Dominic Tierney, Failing to Win: Perceptions of Victory and Defeat in International Politics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006), 168–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 31.
    Yitzhak Rabin, The Rabin Memoirs, expanded ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 238.Google Scholar
  23. 35.
    Amir Bar-or, “The Link Between the Government and the IDF,” in Military, State, and Society in Israel: Theoretical & Comparative Perspectives, ed. Daniel Maman, Eyal Ben-Ari, and Zeev Rosenhek (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2001), 329.Google Scholar
  24. 48.
    Amos Perlmutter, “Begin’s Rhetoric and Sharon’s Tactics,” Foreign Affairs 60, no. 1 (1982): 71.Google Scholar
  25. See also Ilan Peleg, “The Foreign Policy of Herut and the Likud,” in Israeli National Security: Political Actors and Perspectives, ed. Bernard Reich and Gershon R. Kieval (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), 65–7.Google Scholar
  26. 49.
    See also Avi Shlaim and Avner Yaniv, “Politics and Foreign Policy in Israel,” International Affairs 56, no. 2 (1980): 246–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 50.
    Ilan Peleg, Begin’s Foreign Policy, 1977–1983: Israel’s Move to the Right, Contributions in Political Science, (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987), 148.Google Scholar
  28. 52.
    See also Bernard Reich, “Israeli National Security Policy: Issues and Actors,” in Israeli National Security: Political Actors and Perspectives, ed. Bernard Reich and Gershon R. Kieval (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), 7.Google Scholar
  29. 54.
    Shimon Peres and David Landau, Battling for Peace: A Memoir (New York: Random House, 1995), 232.Google Scholar
  30. 55.
    See Yair Evron, War and Intervention in Lebanon: The Lsraeli-Syrian Deterrence Dialogue (Baltimo: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), 167Google Scholar
  31. Marver H. Bernstein, “Coping with Turbulence: The First Two Years of the National Unity Government under Peres,” in Lsraeli National Security: Political Actors and Perspectives, ed. Bernard Reich and Gershon R. Kieval (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), 212Google Scholar
  32. Gershon R. Kieval, “The Foreign Policy of the Labor Party,” in Israeli National Security: Political Actors and Perspectives, ed. Bernard Reich and Gershon R. Kieval (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), 41.Google Scholar
  33. 66.
    See also Michael Bar-Zohar, Shimon Peres: The Biography, 1st American ed. (New York: Random House, 2007), 365.Google Scholar
  34. 68.
    Bernard Avishai, A New Israel: Democracy in Crisis, 1973–1988: Essays (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1990), 153.Google Scholar
  35. 70.
    Richard A. Gabriel, Correspondence with Author, April–June 2011. “Peres Hints at Lebanon Withdrawal,” The Times, October 12, 1984; “Israeli Officers Present Lebanon Pullout Plan,” New York Times, August 12, 1984.Google Scholar
  36. 74.
    See Elizbeth Hann Hastings and Philip K. Hastings, eds., Index to International Public Opinion, 1985–1986, Prepared by Survey Research Consultants International, Inc. (New York: Greenwood Press), 221. “Israeli Cabinet Approves Second Stage of Troop Pullout from Lebanon,” New York Times, March 4, 1985.Google Scholar
  37. 80.
    Elizbeth Hann Hastings and Philip K. Hastings, eds., Index to International Public Opinion, 1982–1983, Prepared by Survey Research Consultants International, Inc. (New York: Greenwood Press), 232–4Google Scholar
  38. ——, eds., Index to International Public Opinion, 1983–1984, Prepared by Survey Research Consultants International, Inc. (New York: Greenwood Press), 92Google Scholar
  39. ——, eds., Index to International Public Opinion, 1984–1985, Prepared by Survey Research Consultants International, Inc. (New York: Greenwood Press), 225–6.Google Scholar
  40. 82.
    Hastings and Hastings, eds., Index to International Public Opinion, 1982–1983, Prepared by Survey Research Consultants International, Inc., 377Google Scholar
  41. ——, eds., Index to International Public Opinion, 1983–1984, Prepared by Survey Research Consultants International, Inc., 383.Google Scholar
  42. 83.
    See Gad Barzilai, Wars, Internal Conflicts, and Political Order: A Jewish Democracy in the Middle East, Suny Series in Israeli Studies (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996), 147.Google Scholar
  43. 84.
    Daniel Judah Elazar, “Begin’s Two-Year Government,” in Israel at the Polls, 1981: A Study of the Knesset Elections, ed. Howard Rae Penniman and Daniel Judah Elazar (Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1986), 249.Google Scholar
  44. 88.
    See Ned Temko, To Win or to Die: A Personal Portrait of Menachem Begin (New York: W. Morrow, 1987), 288.Google Scholar
  45. 93.
    Yoram Peri, “Intractable Conflict and the Media,” Israel Studies 12, no. 1 (2007): 83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Shawn T. Cochran 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shawn T. Cochran

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations